A Look Back At 2022
And just like that, the year is coming to a close and it’s time for my 2022 recap. Sometimes I look at the year from afar and think, “Hmmm, what even happened over the past 12 months?!” I like my yearly recap blog post because it forces me to break down each month and see all that I accomplished and shared here on The DIY Playbook.
As we already discussed, 2022 was a “Year of Casey” and a time for me to find myself again. I shared a recap of my experiment in this blog post from November if you want to give it a read. In short, I’m so happy that I created a framework to really focus on my mental, emotional, and physical health.
2022 Recap: A Year In Review
Let’s take a closer look at my 2022 recap and all of the monumental moments and blog posts that were the highlights of this year.
Working With Two Little Ones (January)
In January, I was back from maternity leave after having Ellis in September and shared his birth story along with my best c-section recovery tips. Ellis was breech and after he was born, he was diagnosed with hip dysplasia. I wrote about that here. Since that post was published, I’ve heard from lots of moms around the world who have found the info to be helpful when their child was diagnosed. I’m always happy when I can be a resource for other families!
Not gonna lie, the transition from one to two children was a doozy for our family and I wrote all about that here. I polled my community for tips to balance parenthood and work and loved reading all of your insights in this blog post.
Kicking Off The Kids’ Bathroom (February)
By February, it was time to share some home projects, and I dove into two simultaneous bathroom renovations! Maybe it wasn’t the smartest idea for an overwhelmed mom, but we somehow made it through. I shared our kids’ bathroom design plan along with the gorgeous tiles we chose for the space.
When the renovation kicked off, we escaped the snow and cold with a family trip to Seaside, Florida. I recapped the dreamy trip in this blog post and I’m excited to announce we’re heading back there in a couple of months!
While the bathrooms were under construction, I gave my mom’s bedroom a refresh and helped her organize her amazing built-ins. I also shared my best tips for mixing metals, mixing wood tones, and shopping for home items online.
Blogging Updates (March)
In March, I celebrated nine years of blogging and made a change to my editorial calendar with three blog posts per week. This was a welcome change and has allowed me to continue to write long-form tutorials and life updates, here on the blog, without rushing through shorter blog posts. I’ll be continuing this cadence in 2023.
I also started a quarterly series rounding up the best blog posts and readers’ favorite purchases from the previous quarter. Here’s a look at all of the Q1 favorites! Oh, and I shared my spring punch list to finish up some small tasks around our house.
Kids’ Bathroom Reveal (April)
By April, the kids’ bathroom was finally complete and it turned out adorable! We absolutely love this space and the kids use it all day, every day.
That same month, we kicked off the main bathroom renovation with this list of must-haves, a post dedicated to figuring out the perfect layout, a mini reveal of the space, and a gameplan for my DIY linen cabinet.
We did our first upgrade in the basement with new windows. I’m so happy we tackled that because the old ones were horrible.
Feel Good Makeover (May)
Onto my favorite project of the year, our FEEL GOOD MAKEOVER! In case you missed it, I teamed up with my blogging buddies (Kim and Scott from Yellow Brick Home) to give a home makeover to a deserving woman, LaTanya. You can read more about LaTanya in this blog post, but in short, she was formerly homeless and now devotes her time to helping people in poverty find work. She is truly a remarkable woman and I now consider her a dear friend.
We spent a whirlwind three days transforming her living room and dining room and it turned out even better than any of us expected. It’s warm, inviting, and cozy – .just like LaTanya.
You can view all of the before and afters here.
I also gave a look at the behind-the-scenes of bringing this space to life and all of the manpower that went into this huge transformation. Oh, and you’ve got to check out the video in that blog post. It’s a tearjerker.
Main Bathroom Reveal & Budget Breakdown (June)
By June, I finished the DIY linen closet in the bathroom, after a few delays. It turned out awesome and holds so much of our stuff.
Crossing off that DIY meant that I could share a final reveal of our main bathroom and how far it had come since the start of the year. I also broke down the renovation costs for both the kids’ bathroom and the main bathroom. I always like to share these numbers so you can learn the real costs that go into a large-scale renovation.
It was a big month with the debut of my new website! I worked on it behind-the-scenes for many months and it was a relief to finally launch the new site. I hope you’ve enjoyed the updated website, navigation, and shop features!
The Great Outdoors (July)
During the summertime, I was all about outdoor projects around here. The biggest one was a revamp of our side yard/gangway between our house and our neighbor’s. We pulled all of the weeds, added landscape fabric, and poured tons of pea gravel to transform the space. It only cost about $100 but was one of the best outdoor projects we’ve ever done!
I also decided to try out a new-to-me product called mulch glue to keep the pea gravel in place. It worked great and a video of my mulch glue tutorial went viral on both Instagram and TikTok with tens of millions of views. Who knew people would get so excited about mulch glue?!
In the backyard, I shared a 5-minute DIY fire bowl, a glimpse at our backyard at night, and a review of how our backyard held up after living with it for one year and the things we would do differently.
All About Design Basics (August)
In August, I got back to the basics, sharing my best DIY and design tips. This post breaks down a design mistake I see often with people choosing the wrong scale for their furniture and art. I usually get a lot of questions about decorating living rooms, so I shared this Living Room 101 blog post, breaking down design dos and don’ts, where to splurge and save, and my favorite living room pieces.
This post about consistent home habits was a surprise hit with this community and it led to a lot of great discussions about all of the work that goes into maintaining a home. I plan to do similar posts in 2023.
Finally, I loved sharing this blog post with 15 DIY projects that just about anyone can tackle in a day. If you’re looking for a fulfilling project over the holiday break, I bet you’ll find one in there!
The Basement Floods (September)
On September 11th, while having Ellis’ first birthday party, our entire basement flooded with sewage water after a supercell storm hit our neighborhood. It was horrible and we ended up having to throw away everything on that level of our home. I had just shared this design plan for the basement (because it was my next big project), but that got put on hold as we dealt with the flooding aftermath.
Diving Into Fall (October)
October is my favorite month of the year and I wasn’t going to let the basement flood slow down our family fun! I shared this taffy apple pizza recipe (it’s amazing!) along with our fall bucket list. I’m happy to say we crossed everything off of it this year.
Another surprising outdoor project went viral – this DIY about installing polymeric sand in between pavers. Who knew?! It was a heavy-duty DIY project to tackle solo, but ended up turning out really nice and I’m happy I took the time to do it.
I know you guys love a “day in the life” post, so I shared a glimpse at a day in my life with the two kiddos over in this blog post. “Exhausting” would be a good word to describe it. Ha!
My Holiday Gift Guide (November)
I continued my yearly tradition with my 7th annual holiday gift guide and, I know I say it every year, but I think this year’s guide was my favorite of all time! It’s so colorful, cute, and full of great ideas.
I kicked off the holiday season with this holiday checklist, our family peanut butter cookie recipe, and my holiday home tour. Oh, and my mom shared her best tips to start your own Cookie Day!
I also gave my best tips to winterize your backyard for the cold season ahead. If you haven’t crossed these tasks off of your list and you live in a cold climate, I urge you to get on them!
As the “Year of Casey” came to a close, I wrote a long recap sharing all that I had learned from an entire season of focusing on my own needs first. It was an eye-opening experiment and I urge you to consider making 2023 your year!
Basement Progress (December)
The basement project will roll over into 2023, so get ready for lots of exciting updates to come!
Looking back, it was quite a year with large bathroom renovations, a website design, unexpected life events, and more. I’m not quite sure what 2023 has in store for our home and our family, but I hope it’s a good one!
Have a Wonderful Holiday Season!
I’ll be taking off the next three weeks to spend time with my family and start to prep content for 2023. I want to wish you and your family a happy, healthy holiday and new year. Thanks for your unconditional support today and every day. I can’t wait to see you right back here on January 9th, 2023.
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.